High Road to China

That everyone remembers Raiders of the Lost Ark and almost no one remembers High Road is no great crime against art. Those who do remember High Road remember it fondly, for the most part. I can’t say I adore it the way many do, but I certainly understand its charms even if its occasional shrill voice renders the charms less effective for me.

Zombie Lake

No matter how much I run Zombie Lake into the dirt, I can’t deny the enjoyment I got out of watching it. Its combination of schmaltzy sentimentality, surprisingly forthright sleaze, and apathetic horror movie pastiche really does add up to something fairly unique.

GI Joe: The Movie

GI Joe: The Movie feels like marketing was supposed to be first, but the screenwriter had so much booze and amphetamines that the whole thing veered off into the outer limits of madness. There’s just nothing in it that is well-done, and you know that from me, that’s an endorsement.

Black Eagle

There’s a story about the day Sho Kosugi first arrived in the United States in pursuit of his dream of movie stardom. As the legend goes — for surely anything related to Sho Kosugi must qualify as legend, shrouded in myth, mist, and mystery — Sho stepped off the plane at LAX and meant to…

Dirty Pair: Project Eden

Project Eden is meant to be nothing more than action-packed space adventure. It delivers in spades. The action is plentiful, the comedy mostly succeeds, and the characters are, while not exactly deep, certainly well thought out enough to make hanging around with them enjoyable.

Times Square

There’s also a neat little XTC rarity, composed specifically for the film. Unfortunately, true to Robert Stigwood’s intent, this ends up being more of an argument for buying Times Square‘s soundtrack than it does for watching the film itself.

Bat Without Wings

Bat Without Wings takes the now familiar Chor Yuen wuxia trappings and injects an element of the horror film into them. Yuen’s style has always seemed somewhat informed by a combination of horror films and old mystery serials, packed as they are with sinister cults, trap doors, secret identities, and hidden chambers.

S & M Hunter

Liking it may make me a horrible person. Still, it won’t prevent me from maintaining my regular program of affectionately patting all human beings under four feet tall on the head, slinging old ladies over my back two at a time to carry them across the street, and cooking elaborate meals for homeless people.

Qurbani

You’ve perhaps picked up a dvd because its cover bore a picture of, say, Amitabh Bachchan in shades and a bowtie carrying a scope rifle with something blowing up in the background, only to find that the movie contained therein had a couple of underwhelming action set pieces, but was mostly three hours of some guy crying about his mom.

Mr. India

For a movie as silly as Mr. India to sweep you up in its enthusiasms — getting you to root for an invisible Indian everyman against a jackbooted cartoon straw man called Mogambo — is pretty impressive in its own right.

Shaan

Shaan is an over-the-top Bollywood masala film that plays in very much the same vein as Don or The Great Gambler — which makes sense, since all three of them star Amitabh Bachchan. For me, they work as sort of a trilogy, even though none of the films is technically connected to the other in…

Diamonds of Kilimandjaro

Franco wouldn’t get through a lifetime career in exploitation films without doing some work for Eurocine. Diamonds of Kilimandjaro and Golden Temple Amazons were two of the movies Franco apparently didn’t think were as cheap and shoddy and ill-conceived as Zombie Lake.